Oxygen requirements for patient transfer

Last Updated on by FRCEM Intermediate

When using continuous flow oxygen directly from the cylinder i.e. no ventilator,

oxygen requirements can be calculated as:

2 x [flow (L/min) x length of transfer (min)]


A patient is currently on 10 L per minute and the operating room is 16 minutes away.

2 x [flow (L/min) x length of transfer (min)] = 2 x [10 x 16] = 320 L

Size D oxygen cylinder

When transferring a ventilated patient,

oxygen requirements can be calculated as:

2 x transport time in minutes x [(MV x FiO2) + ventilator driving gas (if appropriate)]


FiO2 is a proportion of 1 e.g. 60% = 0.6.

Ventilator driving gas for the Oxylog 3000 is 0.5l/min

So, for a minute volume of 6l/ min at an FiO2 of 0.6 for retrieval

O2 required = 2 x 60 (mins) x [(6 x 0.6) + 0.5] = 120 mins x 4.1 l/min = 492 litres

– i.e. One E (or ZD) size cylinder or 2 D size cylinders.

O2 Cylinders

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